Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What's happening

I'm still not finished with the quilt I have talked about in my last 2 posts...but it is almost done! Just a bit more hand stitching of the binding left. 
I keep getting distracted!
I did do a bit of charity knitting along with my knitting club. We knitted washcloths which were packed in shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. 
While I was finishing up the quilting on 'the quilt'...
I had an inspirational idea!
We had been invited to a birthday party and I had previously purchased a felt picnic basket with food from IKEA but I needed something a bit more. 
The idea of a small play picnic blanket popped into my head! 
Does that happen to you?
I stopped what I was doing and took out my graph paper and drew up an idea. 
Then I rummaged through my fabric stash and found the perfect fabric...watermelons!
 This is how it turned out! 
I fused the plates, cup and silverware on to the placemats, then fused the placemats onto the picnic blanket. I used a zigzag stitch around the placemats and straight line around the plates, cup and silverware. 
I added a backing but no batting as I didn't want it too bulky so it would be to easy to fold away. I sewed around the edges right sides together and then turned it. 
I top stitched around the edges and to keep the backing and front together, I straight stitched around the placemats.  
The birthday girl!

You can see a glimpse of the watermelon print backing.
I love giving presents that encourage the use of imagination! 
It can also be educational as she learns to set the table...just use the place settings to show where to place the plates, cup and silverware. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A little TLC needed!

Well, I'm back but not with the quilt that I put on hold for my daughter's quilt. It is still in the works as I needed to order more thread. 
What I have today is the very first quilt that I made. It was a wedding gift for this cute couple back in July of 1996. 
Over the years and as their family grew, it has been loved...
cuddled under, slept under, played on...exactly how I anticipated they use the quilt. 
It is humbling to know that the quilt I made has been so loved!
Jump forward to 2015, and the quilt showed signs of wear that only a truly loved quilt can...faded and threadbare...especially around the binding.
The quilt is a traditional log cabin made on a foundation. I didn't know much about binding a quilt back then so I self bound the quilt with the backing fabric wrapped around to the front. I now know that a single fold binding is so much weaker than a double fold French binding hence the threadbare edges. 
I took the quilt home to give it some TLC and a renewed life. I removed the old binding and trimmed the edges. Believe it or not, I had a piece of the fabric still in my stash so I made a new double fold French binding and attached it. 
The new binding is on and ready to be hand stitched. 
You can see how the fabric has faded over the years.
The quilt is quite large for my first! It measures 62" x 80" and is machine quilted around the logs. For the most part, the quilting has held up nicely. 
I hand quilted a heart in the center of each log cabin and as you can see, most are still in tack. Not too bad for my very first quilt made 19 years ago! 
All ready to go home for some more love!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall Fun with Family and Friends!

It has been a busy month of October!
 Over Columbus Day weekend, our DD2 and SIL visited from Austin, TX for 
6 days. Our family tradition is to camp up in Door County, WI and enjoy the lovely Fall colors! Our DD2 hadn't been there in 14 years, since her freshman year in high school and our SIL had never been to Door County. We were so excited for this visit!
We camped in Peninsula State Park with a large group of friends and enjoyed hikes, cooking over the fire, the fish boil at the White Gull Inn and breakfast at Al Johnson's.

Although the weather was beautiful, it was a bit nippy for these Austinites!
No sooner was our visit over, when our attention was turned to Fall Fest at the nature center where we keep bees.  My DH is a hobby beekeeper and once a year he does presentations about bees at the Fall Fest. Earlier, we robbed the hives and extracted the honey. This years crop was about 50 lbs! 
Next up, my DD3 and her boyfriend's visit from Austin. Although her 25th birthday was in August, he bought them tickets to come home this weekend. 
(They are currently sightseeing downtown Chicago) 
For her birthday, she wanted a black & white quilt. She found this print that she liked. It is a Luli Sanchez and Russell Busch collaboration
I started by drawing it up on graph paper then started doing the math to make it into a quilt. Here is the finished quilt!
I am so pleased with how it turned out!
The black and white stripes are 4" finished width done in Kona black and white. It was pieced on the diagonal.
The backing is a black and white geometric print. 
 The quilting is straight line. Its finished size is about 73" x 84".

Hopefully, I'll be back before too long to show you the quilt that I put on hold to squeeze in this one for my DD3! 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A new finish

I feel like a broken record! I just can't seem to find the time to get a post in as often as I would like. So here I am once again, more than a month since my last post. Argh! 
But, I have found some time to finish another quilt. 
Most of the fabrics for this quilt I bought way back when my husband and I went to Paducah, KY to pick out fabrics for his Mariner's Compass quilt. 
Read about it here on my very first post and see the finished quilt here.
The pattern is a Blue Underground pattern called Berkeley Square. 
The background fabrics are a variety of Kona cottons. The contrasting fabric are a variety of mostly large scale prints. This pattern comes together fairly quickly...the blocks are 14"!
Inside the inner block, I FMQ using dots and dashes. I learned this technique from Lori over at The Inbox Jaunt. She has wonderful tutorials over at her blog! 
The outside block is straight lined quilted every 1/2". This is pretty dense quilting for me.
The finished size is 70 1/2" x 84 1/2". 
The backing is one of the fabrics from the front and a solid gray strip pieced between the cuts.
I have named this quilt Block Party!
I am happy with the way it turned out and glad to finally finish a quilt that I first was inspired to make in 2010! 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I'm back with some news!

Well, once again I have been absent from my blog for too long! I just need to accept that the stage in life I find myself in is very time consuming, not only physically but emotionally. 
What spare time I do have I try to use for some creative outlet. 
Way back in March/April while visiting our daughters, I found a 'potting shed' at and antique fair called Round Top! However Texas is a long way from Chicago so I couldn't take it home...but I snapped an inspiration picture. 

Back at home and some time later, I found an old kitchen cabinet at a local thrift shop. I brought my husband back to get it and I got started. 

I took off the door and masked around the top...
Got me some white paint and a couple of coats later...

It was doing its job! I love how it turned out!

Here they are all together! From inspiration to discovery, to WIP, to finish!

In my quilting room, I have been slowly working on some projects that I  bought awhile ago but just never got to. One project was a Craftsy workshop by Amy Gibson called Secret Garden Quilt. After purchasing the fabrics, Belle, by Amy Butler, I was reading the comments in Craftsy and several people had commented on how inaccurate the precuts were cut. 
So when I did finally get a chance to open up my fabrics, mine too were inaccurate. The fabrics were still beautiful so instead of using Amy Gibson's pattern, I found another pattern to use the fabric.
In searching through my Pinterest board, I found the pattern called Mill Wheel. I decided to use it because it would 1) show off the large prints of the fabrics and 2) give me curved piecing practice and 3) let me use the Drunkard's Path templates I purchase again.
It was definitely slow going! 

I called it Round About as it reminds me of the round about intersections all over Norway and Europe. 
The sun shining through on a bright and sunny day!
 It finished at approx. 64" x 71".
The pieced backing!
The background fabric is Kona Snow and the binding is Kona Tarragon. 

I quilted the large patterned pieces echoing the shape of the block, the large snow pieces, I FMQ a double orange peel, a similar shape in the round about pieces and the border are FMQ loops. 
It felt good to finish this one!
Now I'm quilting a top that I have had finished since January 2013. It is Easy Street which was a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter! You can see it here or find Easy Street under labels on my side bar!
Hope to finish that one soon! Until next time!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just trying to keep my head above the water

It has been a trying few months for my family. We are still in the midst of taking care of my mom and making decisions for the future. 

I have been able to finish a few small projects, mostly out of necessity, as there are new babies and baby showers. First, this adorable baby quilt. 
I used the border print, On Parade, from the line Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller, and some traditional blocks set in rows to create this quilt. The contrast fabrics are Follie by Lotta Jansdotter and a gray scratch print.
The backing is pieced from the coordinating print, Balloons, from the same line and Follie from the blocks.
 The first row of blocks is a simple square in a square block. I straight lined quilted around the center square.
The second row of blocks is the friendship star block. In the star, I FMQ a feather pattern. 
The third row of blocks is churn dash. I also did some FMQ on this block. Each block in the rows are 6" squares. To separate the rows I used some Kona White in a 5" banner which I FMQ rows of ribbons. 
In the border print, I used a FMQ stippling quilting design.

The finished size is 33" x 42"

Another baby project I made is this cute ruffled baby bib.
I used this pattern which I had pinned quite a while ago. The pattern is by Nana & Company which makes so many pretty things. 
The tutorial is so easy to follow and simple to make. The fabric is Simple Nature by Cynthia Coulter. The contrast fabric is Heath for Alexander Henry.
I created the little patch by finding a cute clip art online and printing it on muslin. I then fused it and finally used a zig zag stitch to finish. 
Just too cute!

I also have been knitting to keep my hands busy while I don't have a lot of time to spend in my sewing room. On a trip to visit our kids in Austin, TX this spring, I picked up some organic cotton to knit Spa Washcloths at Hill Country Weavers. 
I knitted 2 in each color using 2 different patterns. The yellowish green cloths are the pattern found here. The orange cloths are the pattern found here. Both were easy and fun to knit. The yarn is very nice. It is called Sprout from the Verde Collection by Classic Elite Yarns. It was hard to pick colors as there were many pretty ones. 
That's what I been up too! I haven't been around much lately so I have to ask. What have you been working on?